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European Competition Law

A Case Commentary, Second Edition

Edited by Weijer VerLoren van Themaat and Berend Reuder

This updated second edition explains EU competition law by presenting the relevant legal provisions together with carefully selected case extracts pertaining to those provisions. The book’s unique structure enables users to quickly locate information on procedural and substantive aspects of competition law. Containing an article by article overview of EU competition law jurisprudence and concise selected extracts from judgments in key cases, this book serves as an easy to navigate resource for practitioners, academics and competition authorities themselves.
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Chapter 20: ARTICLE 16 CHARTER

A Case Commentary, Second Edition



B.  General   20.01

This Article is based on Court of Justice case-law which has recognised freedom to exercise an economic or commercial activity (see judgments of 14 May 1974, Case 4/73 Nold [1974] ECR 491, para. 14 of the grounds, and of 27 September 1979, Case 230–78 SpA Eridiana and others [1979] ECR 2749, paras 20 and 31 of the grounds) and freedom of contract (see inter alia Sukkerfabriken Nykøbing judgment, Case 151/78 [1979] ECR 1, para. 19 of the grounds, and judgment of 5 October 1999, C-240/97 Spain v. Commission [1999] ECR I-6571, para. 99 of the grounds) and Article 119(1) and (3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which recognises free competition. Of course, this right is to be exercised with respect for Union law and national legislation. It may be subject to the limitations provided for in Article 52(1) of the Charter.

20.01 The protection afforded by Article 16 of the Charter covers the freedom to exercise an economic or commercial activity, the freedom of contract and free competition, as is apparent from the explanations relating to that article, which, in accordance with the third subparagraph of Article 6(1) TEU and Article 52(7) of the Charter, have to be taken into consideration for the interpretation of the Charter […].

In addition, the freedom of contract includes, in particular, the freedom to choose with whom to do business...

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